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Efforts to provide qualifying West Virginians with medical cannabis are underway with new developments, three years after the Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law.
The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis is accepting permit applications for medical cannabis labs after previously closing this process on Feb. 18.
Medical cannabis processors, dispensaries, growers and labs had two months to submit applications, but according to the Office of Cannabis, only one lab applied for a permit during that period: Microbac Laboratories in Charleston.
The office will accept applications indefinitely, and there will not be a limit on the number of lab permits, according to a press release.
“This is a key step in the process to make medical cannabis available to West Virginians with serious medical conditions,” said Jason Frame, director of the Office of Medical Cannabis.
Labs are where marijuana is tested for quality control and potency, a vital part of distributing medical marijuana, according to the Association of Public Health Laboratories.
West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law in April 2017, with the goal of distributing within two years. State Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch estimates the program will be fully operational by spring 2021.
West Virginia physicians were permitted on May 28 to begin the registration process to treat patients within the state who require medical marijuana.
The Office of Medical Cannabis has not yet released the number of physicians who have since applied. Physicians are required to complete the ‘West Virginia Medical Cannabis Program,’ which is $189.